Exercise, especially intense exercise, results in damaged tissues and inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s normal response to stress and is triggered whenever tissues are damaged to help the body repair itself.
Omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, have been shown to have important benefits and may nutritionally help balance the inflammatory response post-exercise.52-62
How does DHA help to balance the inflammatory response?
- DHA is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in all tissues when there is adequate dietary intake of DHA.
- When there is adequate DHA intake, DHA will displace other pro-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acids in the phospholipid membranes of the cell.
- When the inflammatory response is triggered, DHA (along with other fatty acids) is released from these cell membranes. The more DHA that is in the cell membranes, the more DHA there is available to release.
- DHA competes with the other released fatty acids to interact with enzymes that begin the conversion of these fatty acids to signaling molecules that help to mediate the inflammatory response. When DHA, instead of the other fatty acids, interacts with these enzymes, the signaling molecules that are produced are less inflammatory or pro-resolving molecules that help to balance the body’s inflammatory response. 52-62
- The other fatty acids that are released produce pro-inflammatory molecules that promote inflammation when they interact with these same enzymes.
What are cytokines and eicosanoids?
Cytokines are small proteins that are released by cells of the immune system. They are the “messengers” that help to regulate the immune response.
Eicosanoids are the chemical signaling molecules derived from fatty acids that help to mediate the inflammatory response. They can be either pro-inflammatory or less inflammatory and pro-resolving depending on the fatty acid they are derived from. Supplementation with DHA has been shown to decrease the production of the pro-inflammatory eicosanoids.
Supplementation with DHA omega-3 has been shown to optimize the levels of both these molecules helping to balance the body’s response to inflammation.
How can Brain Armor help?
Brain Armor provides a preformed, high dose of DHA omega-3 and emerging research has shown that DHA plays an important role in balancing the body’s response to inflammation.
Need help ordering Brain Armor? For team or professional sales information, please email BrainArmor@Martek.com.
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